Repudiation of GMR Contract by Waheed Administration Will Put Off Foreign Investors for Decades

The Office of President Nasheed expresses its grave concern over the announcement by the Waheed administration today to repudiate the contract with GMR Group regarding the development and management of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA).

The contract to develop and manage INIA was awarded to the GMR Group following a competitive and transparent bidding process, overseen by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.

Commenting on the decision to repudiate the contract, former President Nasheed said:

“This decision is bad for tourism, bad for the economy and bad for the Maldivian people.

“Waheed’s government has cynically used xenophobia, nationalism and religious extremism to attack GMR, the country’s largest foreign investor.

“This will put off potential investors for decades. Waheed is leading the Maldives down the path to economic ruin.”

Attorney-General Azima Shukoor, speaking to local media today, was vague as to the reasons for the repudiation, claiming the contract to be void ab-initio due to impossibility of performance. She said her Government had given the GMR Group seven days notice and 30 days to vacate premises. The AG said the Government will thereafter go for arbitration and that she expects the Government not to have to pay anything for the repudiation.

Mariya Didi (MP), Spokesperson for President Nasheed, said: “The Qayyoom Government did try to defend an arbitration action in England brought by the Kharafi Group, regarding a contract relating to the Airport. The Government still owes Kharafi the money as the decision was awarded against the Government. Such foolhardy action by the Government can lead to dire consequences for the country and its people”.

The Office of President Nasheed takes this opportunity to express its concern over the matter and calls on President Waheed to stop harassing investors.


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